Richard Corey by Edwin Arlington Robinson
arrayed – dressed
imperially – majestically
Questions and Answers
1. Describe the poem’s speaker.
The poem’s speaker is of the working class and is impressed by and even envious of Richard Cory. The speaker’s envy is not malicious, however – he seems to find Cory’s suicide wondrous, but does not find glory in Cory’s fall.
2. In what way is the ending ironic?
The ending of the poem is ironic because what happens is exactly the opposite of what we might assume.
3. What does the poem suggest about happiness and appearances?
The poem suggests that happiness is not an automatic byproduct of wealth and success. It also suggests that appearances may sometimes mask a different reality.